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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Hávarðr halti Ísfirðingr (Hávh)

11th century; volume 5; ed. Rolf Stavnem;

Lausavísur 2-14 (Lv) - 13

Skj info: Hávarðr halti ísfirðingr, Islandsk skjald, omkr. 1000. (AI, 188-191, BI, 178-182).

Skj poems:

This edition is currently in preparation. The biography below may represent a superseded edition, notes and/or an interim or draft version. Do not cite this material without consulting the volume and skald editors.

Hávarðr halti Ísfirðingr ‘Hávarðr halti ‘the Lame’ from Ísafjörður’ in north-western Iceland is the main character in the saga that bears his name, Hávarðar saga Ísfirðings (Háv), and is credited with fourteen of the fifteen stanzas in the saga. All fourteen are in dróttkvætt metre. One of them, Háv 4, is probably confused with the poetry of another lame man, Hrómundr halti, or his son Þorbjǫrn þyna (this stanza is edited in SkP as Þþyn Lv 1IV). In all likelihood Hávarðr had an historical existence though many of the incidents in the extant, probably late, saga are likely to be fictitious. Snorri Sturluson evidently considered Hávarðr to have lived and to have composed poetry, as a helmingr (Hávh Lv 1III) is attributed to him in both Skm and LaufE.

 Neither the saga nor Landnámabók (Ldn) provides the names of Hávarðr’s father and mother or his wider family. Ldn (ÍF 1, 159, 186, 187, 189, 190, 191) refers to him as Hávarðr halti and mentions him in connection with the death of his son Óláfr (see Óláfr’s biography in this volume) at the hands of Þorbjǫrn Þjóðreksson. His wife Bjargey Valbrandsdóttir is also mentioned in the same context, but in Ldn (ÍF 1, 187, 190, 191) she is said to be the daughter of Valbrandr, son of Eyvindr kné ‘Knee’, whereas in Háv Valbrandr is her brother.

 Ldn (ÍF 1, 159, 191) attests to knowledge of a story about Hávarðr’s feud with Þorbjǫrn Þjóðreksson arising from the latter’s unjust killing of Hávarðr’s and Bjargey’s son Óláfr, and this event is also the mainspring of the present saga’s action, which documents a transformation of the elderly Hávarðr, overcome with grief at his son’s death and feeling unable to take vengeance for his killing, into an efficient and determined killer who eventually manages to emerge unscathed from his dealings with powerful local chieftains. All the stanzas attributed to him are on the subject of his loss or his revenge.

my siglum: conflicts with Hávarðar saga

Lausavísur 2-14 — Hávh LvV

Not published: do not cite (Hávh LvV)

 2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14 

Skj: Hávarðr halti ísfirðingr: Lausavísur, 1002-3 (AI, 189-91, BI, 179-82); stanzas (if different): 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

This edition is currently in preparation and will be published in a forthcoming volume of the series. The text below is from a superseded edition (Skj where relevant). Do not refer to this site when using the text below.

5 — Hávh Lv 5V (Háv 6)

Cite as: Not published: do not cite (Hávh Lv 5V (Háv 6))

The following text is from a superseded edition and is not the work of the editor(s) named on this page. It is included for reference only. Do not refer to this site when using this text but rather consult the original edition (Skj where relevant).

Mótreyni klaufk mána
malma braks í jaxla,
hegg létk alms í augu
eitt hǫgg staðar leita,
sákak hitt at hrykki
hringmerkðr fetilstingi,
hlyn (Gunnlogi) Gunnar
(gall) harðan sák falla.

texts: Háv 6 (ch. 11)

editions: Skj Hávarðr halti ísfirðingr: Lausavísur 4 (AI, 189; BI, 179); Skald I, 95, NN §§532, 1100; Háv 1860, 29, 178, Finnur Jónsson 1909b, 89-90, Háv 1923, 32, 62, ÍF 6, 327 (Háv ch. 11), ÍS 2018, V, 333.


AM 160 folx (160x) 232v, 22 - 233r, 3 (Háv)  transcr.  image  
GKS 1006 folx (1006x) 282 - 282 (Háv)  
AM 552 b 4°x (552bx) 15r, 13 - 15r, 16 (Háv)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 560 c 4°x (560cx) 117r, 1 - 117r, 5 (Háv)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 502 4°x (502x) 30, 4 - 30, 7 (Háv)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 157 b folx (157bx) 16v, 3 - 16v, 10 (Háv)  transcr.  image  
AM 426 folx (426x) 275v, 13 - 275v, 17 (Háv)  transcr.  image  
AM 486 4°x (486x) 15v - (Háv)  transcr.  image  image  
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